University of Dubuque - Performing Arts Center/Heritage Center
Cummer Masonry, Inc.
Architect: Straka Johnson Architects P.C.
General Contractor: Conlon Construction
Suppliers: Top Block & Brick
Owner: University of Dubuque
The project blended the approximately 80,000 square feet Heritage Center with existing campus architecture in a new and playful way. The Architecture is influenced by music from the exterior flowing organic forms which emulate a treble-clef on its side, through the interior, with serpentine pathways, free-form finish elements and curvilinear gathering and work places. The building exudes artistic expression in and of itself both at night and day, from afar and from within.
Design GoalsIn order to provide a cohesive design look for the entire University of Dubuque campus the color scheme, textures, and architectural plans were taken into consideration for the design goals. A palette of earth tones gives the various spaces a warm, inviting feel and blends harmoniously with the existing buildings on campus. The many curved surfaces proved for a masonry challenge as the bricks would need to be cut into special shapes and laid in a unique manner.
Primary Details and FeaturesThe primary functions of the building can be categorized as a casual student campus center and formal public areas, with overlaps of each meant to encourage interaction and interest. The student areas are designed to provide educational spaces, group and individual study settings, student services, offices, and hospitality; the public areas provide performance venues, associated gathering spaces, gallery space, heritage display, offices, and hospitality.
Bearing and non bearing CMU walls, utility size face brick, and cast stone accents and emblems were used to blend the facility into the Campus aesthetic
Advantages of Using MasonryThere are many advantages in using masonry for a project of this size and magnitude. Advantages of masonry are:
- Strong and durable
- Low maintenance
- Acoustic performance density of brick makes for a quieter building
- Aesthetics matched with the University of Dubuque campus
Unique or Special Circumstances Faced in Designing or Building the ProjectThe facility itself is located on a compact site in the heart of the University of Dubuque Campus, bounded by public streets on three sides, along with an adjacent residential zone. Support amenities, such as parking and geothermal well-field, not to mention construction staging, were remote to the building, requiring careful study, design and construction coordination to ensure their contribution to the facility was uncompromised and appropriate. An additional challenge included walls over 112 feet tall. The construction season was similarly foreshortened from the customary 36 months to an actual 22 months. The timetables established by University of Dubuque became crucial aspect of the project, requiring exhaustive coordination throughout design and construction.
Date of Project Completion: May 2013
2013 Master Builders of Iowa Masters Award for a Project Over $10,000,000.00